I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
The concept of this story is interesting, unusual, and very well-played out by author David Levithan. Not just anyone could write such a compelling story where we are able to connect with the main character even though he /she? is a person who doesn't even have their own body and own life. Perhaps that was part of the author's purpose. Without any of the external trappings, the merit of the protagonist rested solely on "her" spirit and personality/character. I found the main character endearing and likeable, and the world of this story was one I was glad to spend my time in. All the supporting characters were interesting to meet. The story builds up to an impressive gesture of generosity and self-sacrifice by the main character...this was a development and twist that I definitely hadn't expected. Though I was conflicted about this ending...only because it left some things undone and in limbo..with so much more that could be told. That's not to say that it wasn't very-well played out (and well-written throughout)...it just seemed to leave some things unresolved. People may want to know that this story is largely built on stream-of-conciousness and internal dialogue with our main character, interspersed with actual external events, dialogue, and the supporting characters. So, if you are more the "action" type, definitely sample this and try an excerpt to see if it's for you. Though I highly recommend it just the same! I found the narration did very much fit the story, and seemed right-on for the age and the main character.
Surprisingly heart warming
I am not an avid YA reader and was not aware this was one. When I first herard the main character was 16, I almost made the mistake of turning it off. Thank goodness I didn't! David Levithan has the wonderful ability to keep the story flowing so it was no surprise that I had to listen to it in one sitting. Alex Mckenna did a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life.
Say something about yourself!
NO. 1; the narrator sounds like she has gargled with gravel. I had a very hard time "listening".
NO. 2; the only people portrayed as having it together are gay. The remainder of the cast is messed up. This book seems tailored to a younger audience, but I think the message is somewhat slanted.
NO. 3; what happened to the "original" body you left?
This book wasn't quite as difficult to follow as "The Time Travelers Wife" because he doesn't go back and forth through time. He just wakes up in a new body everyday.
If I had a youngster I would not want them to read this book while they are at an impressionable age. Or at least I would have a conversation about how these people are portrayed.
Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.
Despite the fact that this book can make the reader (listener) a little confused, it brings a very interesting and unique perspective about love. Nowadays people don't really worry about loving someone for what they are, but for what they have. It is very easy to fall in love with the way one looks, but very hard to fall for what they truly are inside, and this book kind of forces us to reflect on that aspect of love, and also love without gender. Just love.
Another interesting thing to consider about the story is: would we be able to give up our own happiness so that others could be happy?
I truly liked this book, but if you are into happy endings or normal and convenient stuff, you might not appreciate this book.
I found the premise of this book to be fascinating, although maybe a little too unbelievable. I'd love to ask David what it was like to create a character with almost none of the basic character attributes. No gender. No race. No body. No name. No family. No real history. I can't imagine how he wrote the blurb for this book, let alone the whole thing!
However, I loved how this premise worked for the story. It's perfect for a YA novel. Imagine trying to figure out who you are at 16, when you are literally no one. I think teens would be both terrified and excited about the idea of waking up as someone new every day.
Although I loved the thematic elements that the premise explored, and thought it allowed for lots of fascinating turns (like waking up in the body of an addict), I did have to suspend belief quite a bit. As a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, I am happy to suspend belief. However, I think David should have explained a little more here. Like, why does he/she almost always wake up within driving distance of Rochelle? He/she seems pretty lucky that the families he enters always speak English!
In any case, it's a fun and thoughtful read. Highly recommend.
When the writing was plot-driven, it moved along in an engaging way. When it was social agenda-driven, it dulled to a preachy slog. Very important plot questions were left unanswered. Issues presented to the reader as both dangerous and important were left unresolved.
She expressed legitimate emotions and provided distinct voices for the various characters.
Perhaps for some. As social propaganda, it's well written. As a story, it leaves too much unresolved. Was this book just a lead-in to a series?
I read a review of this book in Entertainment Weekly and as an honest fan of "Quantum Leap" I was intrigued to pick it up, even with its young adult genre listing. Yes, this is a young adult book, make no mistake. The young characters seem to experience about every pitfall of high school over the course of the book, so prepare yourself. Even still, the idea of the character is very intriguing. The lives the main character falls into each have their story told equally which can lead to interesting tales and perspectives on young adult life. A bit preachy in parts, the messages are all positive. The ending is what really threw me. I won't spoil it here, but it was probably the only part of the book I didn't enjoy. The narrator is superb! Definitely worth a listen.
This was an interesting story. I didn't know what to expect when I started.
It was a story line I thought was original and interesting.
At first I wasn't sure about the narrator. Her voice comes across very whiny and young, which I get, it's a YA book. But it was kind of odd at the beginning. For a narrator that was supposed to be beyond gender it didn't feel that way, it felt like a girl. It would be interesting to hear it read again by a guy.
It's an interesting listen!
Woman, 33 years old, Attornay at Law, DK. In order for a book to be truly great, it must inspire, intreague and a keep me up till dawn.
The story is about a non-gender soul, travelling each day at midnight to a new body, taking over this persons life for a day. That - in it self - seems interesting enough BUT, it is a mess trying to keep up with all theese different gay and straight people all tangeld together, and adding to this, that the soul falls in love and keeps trying to be with this love of his/her life, with only moments of succes, is just downright depressing. If you are anything like me, suffering with your main characters all the way to the end of each book, you will need a great deal of strength and happy thoughts to get through it, and if you seek classic happy-ending books - you might might want to reconsider all together.
I liked this teen "Quantum Leap" story until ~4/5 of the way through, when it turned hateful. The premise of spending every day in a different body is cute (just don't expect your questions to be answered), and I was impressed by some of the progressive ideas about gender and identity, except when they became unbearably heavy-handed and preachy. Most of all, I appreciated the nuanced empathy the main character showed for all the different bodies he/she inhabited...that is, until A inhabited a body that was only treated with scorn. Being poor or mean or dumb or addicted was fine, but apparently Levithan finds obesity to be an irredeemable blight. I lost respect for the author and the book after that.
Taking a break from patronizing YA for a while...
Gravelly, squeaky, genderless
The most unpleasant scene is the shoddy treatment of Finn, the obese boy. It shouldn't be cut, just rewritten with a shred of the compassion Levithan shows to other characters. There are some plot twists that are neglected (presumably to pursue in another book), but I'd rather have had a more complete story in this book.
This story has many, many flaws, but it's mostly a pleasant, quick listen. Especially if you listen to it on 2x, like I did...